Trevi FountainI was thrilled when my blogging buddy, the talented YA author Evelyne Holingue, tagged me for the Work-in-progress challenge.

Through her blog post, I discovered that Evelyne is not only a prolific YA author, but she also writes essays on her experiences as a French woman living, working, and raising her children in her adoptive country – the US.

You can get a taste of Evelyne’s beautiful observations through her blog post for the challenge.

I’m happy to take Evelyne up on her challenge, which is named the ‘777 Challenge’ because I must go to Page 7 of my work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post. Then I must tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.

So, let’s give it a try. Andiamo…

Trevi FountainMy current manuscript, Three Coins, follows three American expat women living in Rome, who meet by chance during a 1950s movie night on a restorative holiday.

The triumphs and hardships of these three very different women become intertwined as they form an unlikely friendship, and work to better their messy lives.

This is the first time I attempt a multi-character novel, and I had a lot of fun bringing these three diverse women to life, and ensuring they’d eventually learn to lean on one another as they take charge of their lives.

This excerpt from Chapter One is through the point of view of Emma, an American expat who’s been living in Rome for 20 years. In this scene, Emma is leaving her daughter’s elite, international school after a troubling meeting with the Headmistress about Chiara’s grades and behavior.

For Emma, it’s just another thing her ex-husband, Dario Rinaldi, famed plastic surgeon to the stars, has saddled her with while he gallivants around with young women.

Feeling a panic attack coming on, Emma longs to escape from the school, but one of the gossipy mothers she hoped to avoid catches up to her before she can make a  break for it.

“Margherita! What a pleasant surprise to see you.” Emma stepped forward and kissed the woman on each silicone cheek. “It’s been ages. My fault. I need to contact you to see when I can help out with PTO activities. Isn’t the international luncheon coming up?”

Margherita waved her hand, attempting a smile on skin that was no longer elastic. “Oh, that. We all do what we can. I know how hard it’s been for you what with…” She lowered her voice. “The divorce.”

The horrified expression accompanying her words would have been equally suitable for ‘your drug conviction’ or ‘the mafia killings you ordered’.

So, yes, poor Emma goes on to continue her terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I suspect, like Alexander in the beloved children’s book, we’ve all had a few of those.

Dear readers, feel free to weigh in: the good, the bad, the ugly. All comments welcome here.

To put you in the mood, here’s an iconic photo of Rome’s beloved fountain in Fellini’s film La Dolce Vita. I always love watching old Marcello Mastroianni films and the golden era of Italian cinema. *Sigh*

La Dolce Vita

And now, tagging!

Although it depends on their time and interest, seven bloggers I’d love to see take this challenge are: Catherine, Terianne, Grace, Nicola, Ashlinn, Melinda, and Frank (thanks, Frank, for being a good sport and helping with my poor sense of gender balance!).

Would love to see your work! And thanks for the tag, Evelyne!